Brandon Shaeffer’s Movie Posters
My views tend to align themselves with three old dead guys who, at one point in their lives, sported some utterly fantastic beards. It began with Thoreau’s treatise on simplicity, gradually moving to include Tolstoy’s writings on purpose, and finally somehow wrapping things up with William Morris and his ideas about work and society. To be a little less broad for the unfamiliar, this trifecta championed a life that is far from the media addicted consumerist society we live in today.
Influences are a funny thing. We are the sum of our experiences, and as we change, so do the things we admire, which again, in turn, further changes us. I’m not sure what caused me to abandon the Church of David, but these days my aesthetic and theoretical alignments tend to be broader and more malleable. Fervent devotion to a specific way of seeing and speaking is just another discarded piece of my past, next to those seasons of Angel on DVD. Everything influences what I do, but there is a small crowd that helped pave the way, and continues to do so on a regular basis.
There’s something to be said about distilling a central theme or idea of a film down to it’s core and translating it into a simple, iconic image. It’s a nice exercise that shows just how limitation can breed possibility and eliminate distraction: by setting yourself a series of self-imposed obstructions, your focus becomes more refined, and communication becomes key.
Less can be more, just as long as imagination and a willingness to explore trump aesthetic complacency. If there’s anything that this exercise taught me, it was that. And, for better or worse, that lesson has kept both my process and my work from staying the same.